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Sri Sambuddhathva Jayanthi:

Buddhism promotes global peace and harmony

Sakyamuni Siddhartha Gautama, the symbol of wisdom, with the power of his superior mind made the supreme sacrifice for liberation of mankind. He with his intellectual struggle discovered the universal truth that there is nothing permanent anywhere in the universe. He found that all component things are transient. This is the revolutionary message that He proclaimed to the world.

His only wish was the happiness and welfare of all beings in their upward path of Nibbana. He did success in this noble task which continues to-date.

Anagarika Dharmapala

Sakyamuni Thathagatha, the Perfect One, is not alive but His teachings are. It is being upheld by the Buddhist world. Going through pages of early history Emperor Asoka during his reign of forty-years established Buddhism as an international ideal of life and later it spread almost in three-fourth of the world. First in the Indian subcontinent and subsequently in the lands of Sri Lanka, West Asia, Burma, Nepal and from these countries Buddhism spread to the whole of Asia, according to Rastrapal Maha Thera. Out of all these countries Sri Lanka is holding the pride of preserving Buddha Sasana for a long time. For centuries this paradise isle was illumined with the light of Dhamma so much so it was called Dharmadweepa.

Dhamma activity

Sri Lanka claims the distinction of being the first country to preserve Buddhism. Here in Sri Lanka Buddhism, is as old as the Buddha Himself it has lasted for 2600 years marking Sambuddhathva Jayanthi scheduled to be held in all its glory and splendour, not only islandwide but also in many parts of the globe. The noble teachings were carried to its conclusion by the then galaxy of patrons of Buddhism who were able to convey it to the Western world.

Anagarika Dharmapala was the most prominent among them. He delivered a stunning speech at the Congress of Religions held in Chicago in 1891. Prof. G.P. Malalasekera who pioneered the World Fellowship of Buddhist formed in May 1950 representing Europe, Asia and North America was a remarkable achievement in the propagation of the Dhamma. Almost of the same time, erudite scholarly bhikkhus such as Most Venerable Pelane Vajragnana, Narada, Madihe Pannaseeha, Ananda Maithriya were involved in the noble task of sending Dhamma missionaries abroad. The Theravada Vihara in the U.S.A. was founded by Madihe Pannaseeha Nayaka Thera with the untiring efforts of the then Prime Minister Dudley Senanayake. This is just one example out of many such events. In 1954 a Dhamma Sangayana too was held in Burma.

German mission

The next noble thought set forth to success was the setting up of the Berlin temple. The pioneering Buddhist mission led by the German Dharmadutha Society provided the enthusiastic German citizens with the opportunity of embracing Buddhism. Today this longest and oldest Theravada Buddhist Centre in Europe is preparing to celebrate the Sambuddhathva Jayanthi through a series of religious programmes. A workshop is to be conducted on meditation techniques, to be followed by a meditation retreat. It is said that meditation has become very popular in Ceremony. Bookshops and book stalls filled with Buddhist Literature reflect the deep concern in popularising Buddhism. Not only Germany but also other European countries are making arrangements to commemorate the occasion. The Sri Lankan Sangha Sabha in UK after a series of meetings held in Latchworth and London long before the event is playing an active role in organising Buddhist ceremonies for the devout Buddhists there, to worship and pray and get the blessings of the Triple Gem. Similar meetings were held in the U.S., Canada, France, Russia, Norway, and Switzerland.

It is believed that 16 countries with a global reputation of having a good mind and heart for the propagation of the subtime teachings of the Blessed one, will be deeply involved in various Dhamma activities in view of the Sambuddhathva Jayanthi. Eight countries including Norway, Iceland, Russia and Indonesia in the east have agreed to build temples in enhancing the religious significance of the sacred event. In addition they will also host a variety of celebrations to mark the grand occasion.

Some are expected to participate in the International Buddhist Conferences hosted by Sri Lanka. The current issues, the intended solutions and the contribution made to spread the essence of Buddhism throughout the globe will be highlighted at the above meetings. Hence these gatherings plus the entire Sambuddhathva Jayanthi will unify the masses in the globe into a disciplined one emphasising the oneness of global Buddhist society for promotion of peace, tolerance and compassion and protection of human rights, Buddhism has stood for.

May the universal love advocated by the Great Master spread among all members of the human family throughout the globe.

 

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